There comes a point in everyone’s life where they need to see if a crock pot is meant for them. Some people, myself included, relish in the idea of throwing everything into one pot and leaving it to cook for the day. Others consider that notion and debate if the result is really highbrow enough or whether it will look pretty once all the flavors have melded into a muddled version of their former selves. Those people don’t understand highbrow in my opinion. To me, true highbrow makes you raise your eyebrows up high in surprise when something that looks so blah tastes so perfect. I don’t write dictionaries, so I doubt you’ll find my meaning anywhere else.
It was the summer The Dark Knight was released that I took my first foray into crock pots. I had driven three hours north after work on a Friday to spend the weekend with a high school friend and see the newest Batman film. He had seen it at the midnight showing because he couldn’t wait for me to see it, but was a good sport and went again. It was more than either of us expected it to be. The next day, we woke and set about cooking dinner. The joy of a crock pot is exactly that. You do your day while dinner is being taken care of for you. It was in that crock that I discovered the following recipe.
My highschool friend, Matt, explained the method to his madness. The meat would cook all day. Then shortly before we had to eat, we’d pull it and add our sauce. He said this as he dumped garlic powder and Cajun seasoning, salt and pepper all over the meat and filled the crock with water. “You won’t be able to taste the spices in the end. They’re for the smell throughout the day.” In the morning, that seemed like a waste. By dinner time, I got it. The house was filled with the aroma of meat and heavily spiced air. By the time we drained the meat and pulled it, I could only barely taste the remnants of those spices. The meat, however, was perfect.
Fast forward to me moving into my first apartment a few months later, and I realized I’d be needing a crock pot to recreate the madness and to season my apartment with the distinct smell of meat. My girlfriend at the time happened to have two (something about her mom picking them up at a thrift store for $2). I was elated and instantly went out to the store to get the ingredients I’d need to treat my roommate to his first taste of the perfect pulled pork. At first, he grumbled at the smell. Then he tasted it and I knew I had achieved the work of Pavlov in a mere bite.
What I like more about this recipe than the ease of it is the sheer cheapness of the ingredients. I spent at most $14 dollars on a pot of meat that will last me for a couple of weeks worth of dinners. Granted, I’d be sick of it if I did that, so into the freezer it’ll go so next time, it doesn’t take a whole day to prep.